The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Author: Noah Levick (Page 1 of 15)

An alphabetical journey into the English Premier League: H

Hull City (The Tigers)

Overview: From September 27, 2008, the day I happened to flip to Hull City vs. Arsenal and was transfixed by an improbable, epic, life-affirming 2-1 away win by the Tigers, I have supported Hull City. Since then, I’ve watched two relegations, two promotions, and one nearly miraculous FA Cup Final performance. I’ve been fortunate enough to be a fan during some of the club’s best years since their founding in 1904. The 2008-2009 season was the club’s very first in the Premier League, after a run of three promotions in the past five seasons. As you might expect, Hull City has a few less major trophies than most teams in the Premier League. That FA Cup Final appearance (a heartbreaking 3-2 loss in extra time after seizing a 2-0 lead within the first eight minutes) is the only time the club has been in a major cup final, and a semifinal showing in this year’s League Cup (Hull City need to overcome a 2-0 deficit in the second leg to beat Manchester United) is the best they’ve ever performed in that competition. Hull City currently sits 19th in the Premier League, three points from safety. I’m praying that new Portuguese manager Marco Silva can save us from relegation.

Stadium: The KCOM Stadium. I actually was fortunate enough to visit in 2009 with my mom, back in the old days when it was known as the KC Stadium. Back then, the capacity was a little under 20,000; now, with the attraction of Premier League football, the club has added around 6,000 seats. It’s no Old Trafford or Anfield (Manchester United and Liverpool’s famous homes, respectively), but it’s a nice home for Hull City.

Notable players:

George Maddison, GK (1924-1938)

Billy Bly, GK (1938-1960)

Andy Davidson, D (1952-1968)

Chris Chilton, F (1960-1972)

Ian Ashbee, MF (2002-2011)

Andy Dawson, D (2003-2013)

Dean Windass (1991-1995, 2007-2009)

Michael Dawson, D (Andy’s brother) (2014-present)

Fun facts:

Andy Davidson leads the club with 579 appearances. He broke his leg three times during his 16 years with the Tigers.

It’s an annual tradition for Hull City to play local non-league club North Ferriby United in their first pre-season fixture of the season, to contest the Billy Bly Memorial Trophy, named in honor of the club’s legendary former goalkeeper. The match is played at North Ferriby’s home ground, which only holds about 2,000 people, so it’s a great opportunity to get an intimate look at Premier League players. I was lucky to have that privilege, and to snag a couple autographs, on my 2009 visit.

Dean Windass, a Hull City native, returned to the club after a 12-year hiatus in 2007. He nailed a sumptuous volley to score the only goal of the 2007-2008 Playoff Final at Wembley Stadium, sending his hometown team to the Premier League for the first time.

Though it’s not exactly “fun,” it’s worth noting that the club’s ownership situation is messy at the moment. Assem and Ehab Allam have angered many fans for a number of reasons, the most egregious being their (failed) attempt to change the club’s name to “Hull Tigers.” There have been rumors that they’re looking to sell, but at the time of writing they’re still in charge.

 

Maine ACLU calls on US Dept. of Justice to investigate voter suppression efforts

These fliers were dispersed around the Bates College campus early Sunday. (Photo Courtesy Christopher Petrella Twitter)

These fliers were dispersed around the Bates College campus early Sunday.
(Photo Courtesy Christopher Petrella Twitter)

Sunday morning students encountered bright orange leaflets reading “BATES ELECTION LEGAL ADVISORY.” The word ‘legal’ was underlined and had stars around it to add emphasis. Below that were two categorically false statements. First, students wanting to vote must change their driver’s licenses to a Maine license and second, that vehicles must be re-registered, with a note stating that this often costs hundreds of dollars. The leaflets were immediately removed from Commons and dorm buildings, and a suspect was identified as a tall blonde man.

On October 25, Federal and State officials along with the ACLU of Maine published a press release on election fraud claims. U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II said in the press release, “Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted without it being stolen because of fraud. The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process.”

A Maine Assistant United States Attorney said he could not yet comment on the specifics of this case, and directed The Student to the FBI. At this time, the FBI was unavailable for comment. Legal Director at the ACLU of Maine Zachary Heiden spoke with The Student, saying, “The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prevents any person from threatening or intimidating or coercing or attempting to threaten or attempting to intimidate a person to interfere with their right to vote. And it seemed to me, given the timing of the letter (just before an election), and the target audience (student voters), that the only reasonable purpose of such a letter would be to scare students into not voting.”

Heiden also noted, “Intent is not the only important question under the Voting Rights Act, so even if the people who sent these fliers or the Governor did not intend to coerce, threaten, or intimidate, if the letters had the likely effect of doing that, they would still violate the law. So another part of the investigation would be to figure out what was the effect; were people intimidated? Were people scared? Were people made to feel that they would be subject to unwelcome government attention if they decided to exercise their fundamental rights?”

Governor Paul LePage had his own take on the matter, saying in a statement on his website that Democrats “have encouraged college students from out of state to vote in Maine” and college students are allowed to vote “as long as they follow all laws that regulate voting, motor vehicles and taxes.” Of course, citizens are not required to own a vehicle to vote, nor are voters required to have a driver’s license.

Heiden said that, in addition to investigating the incident at Bates, the ACLU is “looking into comments made by the Governor today that also target student voting, and we have called on the US Department of Justice to investigate.”

According to Heiden, “the Voting Rights Act of 1965 makes this a civil offense. But the National Voter Registration Act [of 1993] makes it, intentionally, a criminal offense. There are both criminal and civil penalties associated with this.”

President Clayton Spencer spoke of the event to the Lewiston Sun Journal, saying it was “clearly a deliberate attempt at voter suppression,” and released a statement on the Bates website saying: “Many Bates students are eligible to register and vote in the City of Lewiston. Any unofficial communications that suggest otherwise are contrary to the ideals of American democracy.”

This voter suppression effort has mobilized the Bates student body. On the evening of November 7, Bates students staged a student demonstration, organized by Bates Student Action and Bates Democrats, decrying Republican nominee Donald Trump and his problematic tactics throughout his campaign. Meghan Lynch ‘17, election co-lead of Bates Student Action, said before the demonstration, “We are now incorporating the voter suppression signs. We will be distributing replicates of the original signs with actual information about the voter registration process during the demonstration.”

“We planned the demonstration so as to send a sense of urgency to students about the value of our vote in this contested district,” Lynch said. “Bates students will have a huge effect on whether or not Trump gets the 2nd district’s elector, and the presidency could come down to a few electors. Bates students could ‘tip the scale’ towards Clinton, as will be demonstrated by the banner.”

With robust efforts on campus to get out the vote, canvass for ballot initiatives, early voting transport, and registering students, Bates College is gearing up for the 2016 Presidential Election. And it doesn’t appear that these orange leaflets are about to dissuade any Bobcats from exercising their Constitutional right and civic duty.

Lynch concluded, “I just think it is incredibly ironic that while these voter suppression signs were being distributed on campus, we had over 40 Bates students canvassing off campus, encouraging other Lewiston residents to vote.”

The Student interviews Roger Fuller, Candidate for Maine House of Representatives District 59

The Student had the opportunity to interview Roger Fuller, Democratic Candidate for District 59 in the Maine House of Representatives. Fuller has lived in Maine since 1968, when he started school at the University of Maine. He began his long career as a teacher in Lewiston in 1972. Though Fuller moved to Los Angeles for a teaching job from 1999-2014, he returned to Lewiston in 2014, and his family has kept their home in the city.

Fuller formed the Androscoggin Valley Community Network (AVCN) between 1989-1991 in collaboration with Robert Spellman, the Associate Director for Network Services at Bates, linking all the the high schools in the region (Edward Little, Lewiston, Lisbon, Oak Hill, and Turner). The AVCN was the first use of internet relaying communications in Maine, and set up forums for students to exchange data.

Below is a summary of Fuller’s positions on several of the main issues in this election.

On how he can enhance the quality of education from a political perspective:

“I was fortunate be on the original committee that wrote the learning standards for the state of Maine. So the learning standards have been the single most effective document to govern education in the state of Maine for the last 15-25 years. The current movement towards proficiency-based diplomas is, in fact, an enactment, a realization, of the original philosophy behind those learning standards when they were written… The learning by proficiency that we are trying to do needs to be more about excellence in performance and more about social relativism, and not just about earning a grade on a final exam. So I will always be a big believer that the best learning is that learning that is engaged in the community-and you’ve done that at Bates with the Harward Center, which is productive for the student and reflective of what the student has learned… Learning is not measured by a test alone, but a test is a measure of learning.”

On climate change:

“It’s here, it’s obvious, it’s impacting us now, and if we don’t do something we’re going to pay a greater price… We should be creating new sources of energy that are not reliant on the industrial segment of the economy…. We could put a lot of people to work creating solar energy facilities; we could put a lot of people to work creating geothermal facilities; we could put a lot of people to work generating electricity at the Passamaquoddy Bay without a dam.”

On raising the minimum wage:

“Yes, I believe we need to raise the minimum wage. What I like about this proposal is that it’s done in steps. What I also like about this proposal is that it includes those people we call “tipped workers,” and those people deserve- any human being deserves- the right to live a rational, reasonable life.”

On Ballot Question One, which asks voters whether recreational marijuana should be legalized for adults over the age of 21:

“It’s really the responsibility of the voters of Maine to make a decision. My opinion doesn’t count more than that of any other person in the state… On that particular referendum question, I would vote no, as I believe the risks are too high at the current time… I want more research, I want to see what happens in Colorado, I want the feedback from there before I vote yes on that.”

On Ballot Question Two, which asks whether the government should approve an additional three percent surcharge on the portion of any household income exceeding $200,000 per year, with all revenue from this tax being earmarked to fund public education:

“I’m in favor of that. What I like about that proposal is it puts that money for direct instruction, which is the key. That proposal did not put money into administrative costs or fixed costs, or delayed maintenance cost.”

On Ballot Question Three, which asks whether the state should require background checks before a gun sale or transfer between people who are not licensed firearm dealers:

“I think people in the current discussion of the gun control issue miss the history of Maine; we need to study it more. The reason it’s a constitutional right in the state to own a gun is really determine by our early settlers from 1720 to 1820 and the life they lived, and the risks they faced, especially in the Indian wars, were so profound. When the British burned Falmouth (in 1775) and people didn’t have ready access to firearms, it taught me the lesson that the gun law is not just about hunting and fishing, it’s about self-protection. We can’t take that away; we can’t ever abridge that right. At the same time, we have to guarantee that people using that are ready to use it, able to use it, and can use it in sensible ways.

On police reform:

“In the state of Maine, we’re blessed to have an excellent police reform who are doing the job to protect us. I don’t think the issue is necessarily about training, but I think it’s about putting communication back in the community. When the Lewiston Police Department had a community forum and people got to attend it and share their concerns, that’s a step in the right direction.”

On body cameras for police: 

“Getting the whole picture is always better than getting a portion of the picture. If the body camera gives us a wide-angle lens and the biggest picture possible, then that’s a good thing. If the body camera is only selecting the thing which is within the viewer’s range lens, that’s not a good thing… We need the context of a situation.”

On the importance of immigrants in Lewiston: 

“There are very few of us who are Native Americans. Immigration is a way of life, and for me, thank god that we have immigrants. They bring in diversity, they bring in vitality- I have an opportunity to work with new residents when I tutor on Wednesdays, and I am always impressed with what I see. Now, will there be problems with new residents? Of course there will? Should we be treating the newest of our residents any differently than other people who came to this city? I don’t think we should. They have a right to privacy, they have a right to personhood, and they have a right to the pursuit of happiness.”

On the divisive rhetoric surrounding immigration:

“When you move to the extremes in any political discussion, you create an absence of moderation. What we’re seeing in America and in our state government is an absence of moderation. We need people who can communicate, who can argue intelligently and argue reasonably without arguing emotionally. And those people should be willing to compromise; we don’t move forward when we go to the extremes, we only split the people… I do view myself a middle of the road Democratic who can listen first and talk later.”

 

 

 

 

Exclusive: The Student discusses racial justice with Shaun King, Black Lives Matter activist and New York Daily News Senior Justice Writer

 

What do you think the “War on Drugs” means for criminal justice in America?

That’s an important question. I think it’s one of the most important questions in our country right now. The War on Drugs started before, I think, any of us in the room were born. And what we’ve come to learn and understand is that when it was created, conceptually, it had nothing to do with treatment. It really had very little to do with ending drugs, ending drug addiction. It had everything to do with punishing people, particularly people of color, poor people. So what we see now, in great part because of the so-called War on Drugs, is that people are using drugs just like they were before the war, except now we have millions of people in jail instead of a few hundred thousand. No developed country in the world has a so-called war on drug users like our country does. And it’s a mess. It’s why we have 2.3 million people who are incarcerated and millions more who are under supervision or probation when sometimes they should have gotten citations or treatment. So the system is greatly ineffective at addressing the root issue. What I say everywhere I go is that the system is not broken: it was designed this way. A lot of people look at it, and it is an ugly system, and their gut reaction is, “Oh wow, the system is broken,” which suggests that it was a wonderful, well-designed system that now somehow messed up. That’s not what we have. It’s a terribly designed system that needs to be scrapped from the bottom up. I think [now] more than any point in my lifetime, people are starting to have that conversation. What do you legalize? What do you change? What should the penalties be? It’s not moving fast enough, but I think we’re probably in the early days of some meaningful reforms on that issue.

What do you think makes people uncomfortable with the phrase Black Lives Matter?

That’s a good question. Issues of race can be very uncomfortable to talk about in general, in part because sometimes people have no idea what they’re talking about. So what you get is people are very uncomfortable because they don’t know if they’re saying the right thing, if they’re being offensive, on a hundred different levels. So before Black Lives Matter made people uncomfortable, people have been uncomfortable talking about difficult issues around race, around racism, around bigotry. It requires us to push through that. You can’t be so easily irritated that if you do say the wrong thing and step on toes, that if you get blasted for it you never have a conversation again. I think there’s also some people [who] are being obtuse about what Black Lives Matter means. People have defined and explained to people [that] in an ideal world, all people are treated equally. Anyone who says that’s the reality in this country is kind of being willfully ignorant on that issue. There are layers and layers of discrimination for all types of people, for all different reasons. So when these three young women coined this phrase ‘Black Lives Matter,’ they coined it in response to black folk who were being treated like their lives didn’t matter. That’s the root of the phrase: even though society in a lot of different ways often treats black lives like they don’t matter, it’s a declaration, that yes they do. In this country, particularly if you are a black teenager, an unarmed black teenager, you’re almost 20 times more likely to be shot and killed by police than an unarmed white teenager. So when we say Black Lives Matter is to say, hey, why does this disparity exist? Where does it come from? Each case of police brutality is an individual case, individually complicated, but that phrase Black Lives Matter is a phrase that’s also affirming for people who feel like they’re under attack. Even if it requires an explanation, the phrase makes sense to me.

As Hillary Clinton would say, are the deplorables also irredeemable? Is it worth trying to overcome their ignorance?

I’ve been a very public critic of Hillary Clinton. I campaigned for Bernie. I had never heard that phrase before. The deplorables… It was a weird turn of phrase. I literally even thought I misunderstood it at first. I think I got the spirit of what she was saying. I think it’s true, and even some people within Donald Trump’s campaign have [admitted] because they have no choice, that large volumes of white supremacists and bigots and other people have been very, very supportive of his campaign. But when you’re running for President of the United States, you have to be very careful not to cause people to feel like you are grouping tens of millions of people into one box. Bernie, for instance, resonated with a lot of people who now support Donald Trump. I don’t think they were ever Bernie supporters. A small amount of Bernie supporters may support Trump, but I think had Bernie got the nomination, he would not have used that phrase. I think, thinking back on that, she would not have used it. The point is to say that to have a difficult nuanced conversation, you have to be careful not to group millions of people into one box. I’ve huge criticisms of Donald Trump and Donald Trump supporters. But it’s a little more complicated than that phrase gave into.

Shaun King visited Bates on October 11. (Chris Petrella/Courtesy Photo)

Shaun King visited Bates on October 11.
(Chris Petrella/Courtesy Photo)

Unquestionably, Black Lives Matter has done a lot of work in elevating dialogue in our country. Can you offer some criticism to the movement, or what would you like to see change in the movement’s approach?

All movements could be better. I regularly see people say things like, ‘Dr. King would be turning over in his grave if he saw this or that.’ I see people say this and it’s really ahistorical. The civil rights movement was messy as a movement… They sometimes disagreed widely on how to approach those problems… So the Black Lives Matter movement is no different than that in the sense that some of us hardly know each other. Some of us see problems very differently. And so, a lot of people say, ‘Wow, I wish there was more unity in the Black Lives Matter movement.’ That’s never really been the case in any civil rights movement. There’s always disagreements and wildly different approaches. Less than a criticism, I’ll tell you where we’re going. I think, for the past two years, this movement has been focused on building awareness. And I think we’ve succeeded. You know, here we are at the campus of Bates College in Maine talking about it…. Most Americans are aware that there’s police brutality. And they were not aware of that just a couple years ago. But we’re pivoting away just from awareness, which we will have to continue to do, to solutions. And I think that’s a natural progression, and that you’ll see in most movements, for a long time you’re just trying to make people know that there is a problem. And once you’ve almost completely saturated the market, you then say, well how do we solve it? So, I think you’ll see more and more of us in the movement talking about what solutions are and how we approach them. But I think you’ll continue to see many of us disagree on many of those approaches. And I’m okay with that. I think it’s healthy that we approach the problem from many different angles.

What role, if any, do you think your religion and faith plays in your social justice work? Do you think that religious values are something that can unite people?

My religious background, faith [and] history guide a lot of what I do. One of the reasons I was excited to come here to Bates is a hero of mine, Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays, graduated from Bates and I graduated from Morehouse College where he was president for 29 years and even before he was president, he was a professor and a debate team coach at Morehouse. And he was a man who had faith at the center of a lot of what he did, but did work that went way outside of religious circles… I think a lot about Dr. King when I do the work. One of Benjamin Mays’ students was a man named Howard Thurman. When he taught, Benjamin Mays was the debate coach at Morehouse before he became president. Howard Thurman was a student on the debate team. He wrote this book called Jesus and the Disinherited. And Dr. King actually had that book when he was assassinated. Dr. King, Howard Thurman [and] Benjamin Mays all believed that their version of Christianity was one that fought against injustice. And I believe in that as well. There’s a huge evangelical Christian support of Donald Trump that I just can’t make sense of. And I’m deeply disturbed by [it]. But Dr. King was disturbed in the same way. He wrote Letter from Birmingham Jail, and what it was really about was how he was confused and perplexed and bothered by his fellow white Christians in Birmingham, who seem[ed] to support segregation and worse. He just couldn’t make sense of it. What bothered him the most was not the ugliness. What bothered him the most was the silence of people who claimed to be Christian. So I don’t speak a lot publicly about my faith, but privately, it guides me, and it keeps me encouraged as well.

What sort of advice would you give with regards to motivation, inspiration? Who do you look to, and how would you guide young college students on their quest to make a difference in the world of social justice?

I said this at a class I spoke at earlier, but I’m actually in the scheme of this movement seen as this old guy. I don’t think of myself like that. But some of the most amazing leaders in this movement are in their early 20s… Particularly college students and young leaders who are functioning inside of systems that they feel are racist or oppressive…  I spoke at University of Kentucky last week, and earlier that day several students had people drive by in trucks and yell at them, have people throw stuff at them. This is 2016. And I felt terrible because I left that campus and flew back to New York. And I’m safe and I don’t deal with that. So I admire students who are there fighting it, speaking out against it. I just want to encourage students to know that if you look and study any movement over the last 100 years, students have always been involved, in part because they have a healthy recklessness that adults who have bills and jobs and all other things don’t have. There’s a bravery and a courage that students have that you need to use… Don’t assume you’re too young to make a difference. Don’t assume you’re too far away from discrimination. Like the country might talk about Charleston, or Charlotte, or Baltimore, but there are problems right here in Maine, right here on this campus that need to be addressed… Just use the time you have and use it well.

Bates Football records first win, 29-17 over Williams

It’s hard to argue against Frank Williams ‘18 winning Offensive Player of the Week. After all, you can’t ask for much better offensive production than nine catches, 223 yards, and three touchdowns in a winning effort.

Bates football entered Saturday’s “Back to Bates” matchup against Williams seeking their first win of the season, having lost road games to Trinity and Tufts. The game did start auspiciously for the Bobcats, who gave up an early touchdown to the Ephs. However, the team got a spark of energy from their special teams unit. Sophomore punter Justin Foley, who averaged 43.4 yards per punt on the day and pinned Williams inside their own 20-yard line four times, boomed a 55-yard punt. The Ephs’ Jaelon Moaney made a mess of the return, deciding at the last second to return the punt. Junior Mickoy Nichol immediately hit Moaney to force a fumble, and Trevor Lyons ‘17 recovered. Bates quarterback Sandy Plashkes ‘19 then hit Williams to put Bates on the board.

Although Bates led 19-14, thanks to another couple big Plashkes to Williams connections and a spectacular catch in the corner of the end zone by Marcus Ross ‘19, the Ephs stayed competitive until the end. They just never found a solution to stop the elusive Williams, who went for a 73-yard touchdown in the third quarter to give Bates a 26-17 lead.

Despite his outstanding individual effort, Williams credited his teammates for his career-best day: “Winning player of the week is obviously a huge honor,” he said. “But at the end of the day, that award is because of the team I have around me. Whether its Sandy, our offensive line, the defense, or the guys on special teams, I wouldn’t get that award without the other guys on the team.”

The Bates defense did indeed play a major role in the team’s victory, as the Bobcats combined to sack Williams quarterback Jansen Durham seven times and limited the Ephs to 207 yards of total offense.

Bates will aim for a second straight home win this Saturday at 1:00 pm against 2-1 Wesleyan.

According to Williams, “The key to getting another win will be having a great week of practice, because as our coach always says: a game isn’t won on Saturday, it is won through how we practice during the week.”

That preparation certainly paid off in a big way for Williams and the Bobcats this Saturday. Williams is far from a secret weapon now, but he’ll undoubtedly be a lethal resource in Bates’ arsenal this year.

 

President Clayton Spencer addresses new initiatives, future of Bates

How is Bates’ approach in creating the Computational and Digital Studies Department different when compared to other schools’ program?

 

So let me explain how it’s the same and how it’s different. How it’s the same is that it will be a strong computer science major for someone looking for a strong computer science major. There will be a set of core course that you would find in any computer science major, algorithmic thinking, coding, etc. And we want to make sure that we’ve got a computer science degree you can hang your hat on. How it’s different is that unlike a lot of our peers who’ve had computer science longer, this isn’t a program bolted onto a math department. And we don’t have legacy professors who are trained in computer science—you know it’s been a very fast moving field—so we’re starting fresh. We’re in the process of, this year, recruiting the first faculty leader of computer science. That’ll be a senior tenured position. A search committee is formed. And that person will come in and then recruit the other two faculty positions that’ll make up the program. So how it is different is we’re very conscious that this computer science program is located in a liberal arts college, a liberal arts curriculum. One of the things you want to make sure is that even as you teach hardcore computer science, you’re also teaching an interpretive critical look at the role of technology in society. And that will be built into the core set of courses. We also will have two tracks as it’s now envisioned, and my guess is it will continue to evolve as the new leader comes in who knows more about computer science than any of the rest of us. But we envision two tracks. One, let’s call it just straight down the line computer science problems. The other is, how do you use the foundational courses in other kinds of analysis. In neuroscience? There are many computational problems and I know Jason Castro works a lot with that. In genetics, in epigenetics, in physics. We feel like given the scale of Bates, given the fact that faculty are so interconnected, that we’ve got the perfect situation to situate computer science both in societal issues and in intellectual issues in a way that puts us at the front of the pack because we have no drag on the system. We got three brand new lines. We’ve had fantastic advice putting this together. We looked at a bunch of other programs. So I think it’ll be very exciting.

 

How has Purposeful Work evolved and grown in the past few years?

 

So I’m much more interested in students’ assessments. I can tell you we have, if you look at the kind of combination of purposeful work internships, the internships through the career development office, faculty research—people are either working with faculty on campus or off campus—and Harvard Center fellowships. We’ve got over 300 students doing funded summer work, which is fantastic progress. If you think about it, if you have 500 students doing funded summer work—funded either by the employer or by Bates—then that would mean you’re effectively giving every Bates student a crack at a funded opportunity. So we’re making significant progress in that direction. The core employer program in purposeful work has worked very well, where we’re now up to close to 70 core employers who are employers we have relationships with. Maybe we have a Bates grad on the inside who says, “I can’t guarantee that I can offer a Bates student an internship, but I will guarantee that I will work hard with you to get a Bates student into the competitive process, etc.” The other thing about the internship piece is it’s a summer cohort experience. So there are a lot of purposeful work interns. This last summer it was 119. But they’re online as an online community. Then the other piece is practitioner taught courses in Short Term. They’ve gotten rave reviews from students. I don’t want to vouch for them. I’ll just tell you the reviews have been great. Then there are purposeful work infusion into regular courses where circular ties to potential career options, purposeful work unplugged, which is where we bring in people. It feels like, to me, the program was extremely well thought through when set up by the faculty originally. There’s a working group, probably before you guys got here, the first year I was here, they sort of said what are the principles that we want to work with. I would say that almost all colleges have realized that to get their students launched on graduation, it’s really critical that they develop an experience. I don’t think many colleges have thought it through as fundamentally as we have and tied it to mission. The last thing I would say on the overall mission of purposeful work—I see it as the third leg of the equity promise. So we bring in students from a wide range of backgrounds. We do our best to support students for success and we’re making a series of strides there to improve that. And now we’re saying, but it’s not enough to say here’s your degree now good luck with the rest of your life. We’re doing that bridge to life and work after college. And for students particularly from families who don’t have strong professional networks, that is critically important. So, I also see it as deeply embedded in the equity mission of Bates.

 

Can you talk a little about Athletic Director Kevin McHugh retiring and what the hiring process might look like?

 

First of all, I have enormous respect for Kevin and what he’s accomplished. He will be finishing his tenth year this year. I think he strengthened our athletic program competitively. Obviously we had a national championship in rowing. We’ve had increasing success in a variety of sports, including post-season play. We have our highest standing ever in the Directors Cup, which is the Division III lineup overall. But much more important are Kevin’s personal qualities and the way his commit[s] to the educational mission of sports. Personally he is beloved by coaches. He knows student athletes. He’s at every game. If half of life is showing up, Kevin is that guy. And he is very well liked and respected by the faculty for his determination to try to situate athletics within the educational mission of Bates. So I think his contributions have been enormous and he gives us a strong platform upon which to build with the next athletic director. So about that: we’re currently in the process of putting together a search, which I expect we will hire an outside… We’ll have a committee that includes faculty, coaches, and, I hope, students and will figure out a careful selection process for people with the right kinds of representation and experience. Then I think we will hire a search firm. The first thing any search firm does is come up on campus and get a sense of the place. That’ll happen, I would say, within the next period of probably six weeks, where it will constitute the committee, hire a search firm, have them come and begin interviewing people. And it’ll be important to interview not only athletes, and staff and others in the athletic department, coaches, but also how other people see athletics, how the faculty see athletics, how’s the interface there. How does athletics interface with admissions, etc. So we will do that and I never put an end date on a search because you never stop the search until you find the right person. But the goal is to have the next athletics director identified before Kevin leaves so that it is a smooth transition.

 

What did we want to accomplish with the new dorm buildings at 55 and 65 Campus Ave? And how do we evaluate their success?

 

So let’s start with the end question. In my experience, students vote with their feet. We will have housing lotteries. If nobody’s choosing those dorms, they’re not working. If people are choosing those dorms, they are working. But we have a lot of other kinds of information. We have the whole res life staff and program. The different housing options on campus… I like to think of it as a system of housing options—you can live in a small house. You can live in a traditional dorm. You can now block into Smith. Different people have different tastes. In some houses, the living room is never used. In some dorms the common room is never used. In other places, it’s just naturally, organically used and there’s a great social space and great feeling gets going. Sometime it varies year to year. So we’ll see. I think of it as very existential and organic, how a building comes to life. And I wouldn’t want to presume. So my fervent hope is that this year beauty and respectfulness of those buildings… let me tell you a little bit about how it came to pass. We hired architects who spent a lot of time interviewing people all over Bates, I think students, faculty, staff, then there was a big committee. They took a million pictures. They looked at rooflines. They looked at brick. They looked at the color of the windows. And they wanted to design buildings that were contemporary but that reflect the vernacular of the campus. So you’ll see the roofs are hipped. The brick was made in Auburn in a particular size that matches, I think, the Chase brick. There’s lots of touches that are a new Bates for a new era, respectfully knitted into existing Bates with its history, values, and sense of community. The particular approach we took rather than just look at these as two buildings, we did an analysis of all the rooms on campus and said do we need more doubles? Nobody likes triples. Do we need more doubles? Do we need more singles? And I think the word came back that we actually need more singles, so that the upperclass students could get single rooms. And I distinguish the architecture of dorms from the sociology of dorms. So you can put four singles together and let isolated people lottery into them. Or you can put four singles side by side in one of the new dorms and let people block into them as a group of four. And I think they’re experimenting with both the sociology and the architecture all over campus. And finally I would say on social spaces, theres been a lot of suggestion that when Smith was chalk full, overloaded, a lot of sense that there weren’t informal spaces for students to gather, just hang out, play games, watch TV, study, talk, work on a project. So you’ll see that those buildings have a lot of that space built in. And also, the post-and-print and bookstore. The theory there was to enliven the street life there and create a much more attractive space, but also, the whole campus goes to post-and-print, and the whole campus goes to the bookstore. So it’s also a way of drawing more students in to feeling comfortable using those spaces. We’ll see if that happens, or if it feels very proprietary to the dorms. But that was the theory.

 

What will he fate of Chase Hall be?

 

It is up for grabs. So we have a couple of questions. What is the best use of the now vacated space? What is the long-term future of Chase? And then, how do you think about casual social space in the campus as a system, right? So the institutional planning report says we at least ought to consider enlivening Chase as a real campus center. And that could be done in the same way the Den and the OIE have been done, which is to go into the space, make it cool, but you’re not doing some hugely expensive renovation. So you could go into that vacated bookstore space and say okay what’s the next thing that goes in here? Should it be student facing, to keep loading more life and more student facing functions into Chase? I think that’s the impulse. If we move towards a comprehensive fundraising campaign, there’ll be a lot of competition for resources, so we have to make sure there’s plenty of money for financial aid, plenty of money raised for endowment, some money raised for facilities. So there’s been some talk, so do we want to renovate Chase and make a fancy student center? Well that might compete with a science building. So this is all really to be sorted out. And I think it’s to be sorted out very much in a dialogue with students, as has been the case with the campus culture working group. So to me it’s like a fun… I mean, people go in and they’re like, “Oh, I know what I’d do with that space.” I think it’s going to be a fun and very collective, collaborative process to figure that all out.

 

Asked about timeline for Chase Hall

 

I’m not aware of a firm timeline yet. I think we just sort of got through the move. I think we’d rather do it right than fast, but it probably needs to be right and fairly expeditiously so that we’re not leaving space …

 

How does Bates address parents pressure to avoid or question the liberal arts with regard to its ability to prepare students for a competitive job market upon graduation?

 

I think, so, personally, that the liberal arts have never been better aligned with the needs of the world. Technology is replacing repetitive jobs, jobs that don’t require creativity, flexibility, commonsense, rigorous analysis, etc. And so, the skills we’re teaching… Technology is moving up the job ladder. And the jobs that require what the liberal arts quintessentially teaches are the jobs that are the most secure. And I think people are seeing that. And you’re starting to see more and more the press write about that. So I think we have to do a very good job of delivering output what we say we do. We really do need to offer rigorous education that understands how to work across differences in ideas and human beings. And that’s something that a residential liberal arts college does best. So I would say, the liberal arts has never had higher value than it does now. We can’t rest on that. I think we then have to say, well how do we make sure the world understands that? You can’t just keep explaining it. I think purposeful work is one example. How do you actually embrace the notion that we’re preparing our students for the world of work, as well as life, as well as social contribution. Well we do that by kind of putting a pin in it and doing it really well. So the other thing I would say is it used to be that if you were at Bates versus a big research university, let’s say, Harvard, Harvard had Widener Library to do your thesis, we had our little library. Maybe you could do interlibrary loan, wait three weeks and get the materials that you need. But now there’s broad, almost universal access to content. So we are in the best position the liberal arts have ever been in. We’ve lost the disadvantage we had relative to larger universities. But we still have the advantage we’ve always had, which is you’re working with tenured faculty members on your thesis, and the R1 people are in huge classes, probably not getting to do a thesis or working with a graduate student. So I consider this the golden age of the liberal arts.

 

A recent announcement letter from UChiago explicitly eliminated safe spaces. How do we at Bates balance intellectual discourse and open exchange of ideas with some sort of sensitivity towards topics such as racial micro aggressions, cultural appropriation, sexual assault triggers, etc.?

 

So I’m very familiar with the Chicago letter which I thought was tone-deaf. There were two very interesting things that followed on. There was an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by the President of University of Chicago, which was better nuanced but then there was a letter by a group of faculty from Chicago who wrote back … they wrote their version of what the letter should have said. And there’s also a recent grad from the University of Chicago who wrote a blog and he said this. He said, yes the University of Chicago is about free speech, any college or university should be. But guess what? I couldn’t have gotten through University of Chicago if I hadn’t had the benefit of the multicultural center, where I could go, unwind, talk honestly with my friends, etc. But he said, it wasn’t as though ideas weren’t debated. All ideas were debated. Ideas are challenged, but my humanity is not. So I think it’s a false dichotomy, and I think the discourse is freer, more open and richer, if you’re also in a sensitive way taking account of the diverse backgrounds, viewpoints, etc., and some of that needs to happen in places where you have the freedom to explore. So I think it’s a false dichotomy. I like to think of it not as free speech versus limits on free speech, but free speech and utter respect for the humanity of every one of our students and every member of our community. If you keep both of those principles in mind, I think you can navigate through in a way that serves both parts, both parts more fully.

Revamping the Student Government

In addition to the beginning of the school year bringing numerous changes in regards to the new dorms, the new package center, and health center, the Student Body Government is also setting new goals and making new changes this year. In the words of Vice-President Tyler Post and President Adedire Fakorede “one of our priorities for this school year is to facilitate more frequent, higher quality interactions between the student body and BCSG in order to establish a stronger bond, more effectively and completely represent the diverse student interests on campus, and promote the best possible student experience.”

Fakorede and Post find it crucial that the there is a clear connection between the Student Government and student body and they will open and facilitate discussions, for they are “planning on hosting several events to facilitate conversation with the student body and increase awareness of the work that we do. Additionally, a BCSG social media presence is in the works.”

This goal has been in the works since last year and it is project that according to Tyler Post aims to “make sure that students are aware that they have a place to share their ideas, concerns, and interests, and that we will be there to listen and do all that we can to make sure that they are heard.”

For those interested in getting involved with the Student Government, “within the next month, elections will be held for all class representative positions. Additionally, in the upcoming weeks the Selections Committee will be seeking applicants for positions on a variety of student-faculty committees covering all areas of life at Bates. We are really looking forward to inviting new members into our ranks and there are many great opportunities for students to get involved so keep your eyes open for notices in Bates Today and around campus!” Tyler Post stated.

 

Dakota Access Pipeline: Dirty oil and dirty tactics against native peoples

The Obama Administration stepped up to issue a major victory for Native peoples and environmentalists in a joint statement released Friday from the Department of Justice, the Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Army, reading, “Construction of the pipeline on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe will not go forward at this time. We request that the pipeline company voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe.”

This, of course, is in response to the now infamous Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), a 1,134-mile-long pipeline costing $3.7 billion intended to carry crude oil from northwestern North Dakota through both South Dakota and Iowa before reaching Illinois. The proposed project led to immediate controversy, as the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed an injunction against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to halt construction immediately, citing cultural and environmental concerns. Unfortunately, this was to no avail.

Despite the media blackout during this historic event, hundreds arrived, not as protestors, but as “water protectors,” describing the horrific implications of a burst pipeline jeopardizing the Missouri River, a source of water for nearly 18 million people. The protectors focused particularly on Lake Oahe, the fourth largest reservoir in the United States, and a site at which the Army Corps of Engineers had constructed five dams nearly fifty years ago.  The construction led to a massive relocation of indigenous peoples, destroyed over 90 percent of timber and 75 percent of wildlife on the reservations, and submerged towns that impoverished large populations of the dislocated Dakotas, who are still affected today.

Furthermore, pipelines in North Dakota do not have a great history, despite an oil boom and subsequent extraction in the region credited for the low unemployment rate in the nation as well as a per capita GDP of nearly 30% above national average. Undoubtedly, the effects of discovering shale gas reserves in conjunction with modern methods of hydraulic fracking have contributed to very real economic benefits for many people in the region. But by no means for all of them, and certainly not economically or environmentally sustainable practices.

There exists a disconcerting litany of pipeline bursts in North Dakota alone, from the Dome Pipeline rupturing and burning 1.1 million gallons of gasoline in 2001, to over 11,000 gallons of crude oil in 2008, to the 865,000 gallons of oil covering over seven acres, detected by a farmer in 2013 who smelled oil from a pipeline running under his wheat field, although cleanup efforts are currently still underway, they will not be completed for months after the burst.

These are very real concerns that threaten a public good, supplemented by large corporations waging environmental warfare for short-term profits. Despite the finite, unsustainable, and outright dangerous practices of constructing pipelines carrying dirty crude oil through and near bodies of water, a judge dismissed the injunction presented by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In a move all too familiar to a community of people having their land seized unwillingly, bulldozers cleared through sacred Sioux burial sites. On September 3rd the company hired a private security firm, armed with pepper spray, mace, weapons, and dogs. A peaceful resistance quickly escalated, as false rumors resulted in a local Morton County Sheriff citing rumors of pipe bombs, which actually turned out to be ceremonial peace pipes, a very different instrument for a very different purpose. The sheriff did not respond to further requests for comment. Nevertheless, scores were maced and others were viciously attacked and bitten by aggressive guard dogs, until they were finally driven away after a strong condemnation of these violent tactics.

The President’s joint statement is in no way a definitive or conclusive resolution to an ongoing battle between corporations and environmentalists, or between Native Americans and the federal government. But what this episode revealed was that peaceful demonstration and resilience made a difference. Thousands of Native peoples and allies spoke up, stood their ground, and were victorious to an extent. President Obama has also announced an invitation this fall– a government-to-government consultation– about how federal laws may have to be reformed in cases of constructing national infrastructure and protecting tribal rights and resources, as reported by The Atlantic. One can only hope that with the stern and persistent shutdown of the Keystone XL Pipeline, the current stalemate at the DAPL, and the president’s increasingly progressive attitudes on environmental issues, this fall meeting could be monumental for securing and upholding the rights of people who have for far too often received some of the most deplorable treatment in a country that was originally theirs.

New dorms at 55 and 65 Campus Avenue

This year Bates is filled with new and exciting changes. We welcome the class of 2020, whose members come from a whopping 38 states and 30 countries, we study in the new Academic Resource Commons, a revamped study and help center in Ladd, and we embrace the improved health center; now with more comprehensive services and longer hours.

But, perhaps the biggest change of all is the presence of the new dorms at 55 and 65 Campus Avenue, two four-story buildings connected by a common green space, across from Chase Hall. 65 Campus also includes the new locations of the school bookstore and package center.

According to the June 29th project update, following the completion of the concrete floors at 65 Campus and the steel structure of 55 Campus, project coordinators predicted the new dorms would “create a vibrant community, relieve overcrowding, and be a visible and welcoming new presence along Campus Avenue.” This is also part of an effort to organize the campus more logically, with the Academic Quad, Chase Hall, and Dining Commons situated in the middle of campus, while the residences encircle these buildings. True to its name, Campus Avenue now seems more like a major campus entrance.

A Bates sophomore, Emily Bruell, says that although she chose to live in a house in order to have a different experience, upon seeing the new dorms, especially their innovative attempt on combining modernity and comfort, she thinks they would rival the comfort and homey feel that Frye Street houses offer.

Emphasis has clearly been made on fostering dorm communities in these buildings, as opposed to simply creating spaces for students to sleep and house their belongings. Some exciting features include 55 Campus’s modern lounge area on its ground floor along with a kitchen, game room, and fireplace, also located on the same floor. The lounge is warm and bright, with large windows providing ample viewing opportunities. There are plenty of “study areas,” throughout each dorm, filled with comfortable furniture, as well as a common space called “The Treehouse,” on the top floor of 65 Campus which boasts “panoramic views, an exposed ceiling and casual furnishings,” perfect for lounging, socializing, or late night exam cramming.

Lisa Lefeber, a JA living in the new dorms, when asked whether she likes living there, commented “I guess I would say that I love that the new dorms are built to foster communities. Every floor has multiple common spaces where students can hang out and talk, watch TV, or do homework. As a JA, I really appreciate it– I can already see the positive effects on my floor community.”

The new dorms are also very environmentally friendly, one example being the various rain gardens. According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, rain gardens absorb water in order to mitigate the risk of storm water runoff, which can carry pollutants, reduce water quality and increase flooding. Water will also be more available to nearby plants as opposed to being uselessly washed away.

Perhaps a new component of the dorms that affects most students on campus is the relocation of the college bookstore and the package center, now referred to as “Post & Print.” Overall, this change has been eagerly anticipated and welcomed as students were seeking a more functional, efficient, and central place to pick up and mail packages.

Gabriella Shpilsky ‘19, expressed that the new locations of the store and package services, are “really spacious and visually pleasing” and that she used to dread having to go to the package center because it felt “stuffy and packed.”

So, next time you are looking for a place to study or hang out, consider spending time at 55 or 65 Campus Avenue. You will not be disappointed.

 

Safety

About a few weeks before school started, I stopped at Lewiston’s finest Wal Mart for some last minute house supplies. As I was walking towards the checkout line, the woman in front of me kindly told my friend and I to go ahead of her; she was waiting for her son and husband to come back with some things they forgot. We graciously went ahead, and she asked us if we were Bates students. Her son was an entering first year student. Excitedly, we gushed about Bates with her and how much he will love this new community. When her family returned to the line, we introduced ourselves and asked him where on campus he would be living. We talked for a little while longer, and after he told us where he was living, his mom looked at me with worried eyes.

“Will he be safe there? Is it a safe place,” asking about his dorm room, because it was close to the street and not encircled by the quad.

My friend and I assured her that Bates is a very safe community and that of course, her son would be safe in his room. When she asked us again, “Are you sure?” we reassured her. I immediately assumed that she was asking as a judgement of the greater Lewiston community, that her concern for his safety was because she was nervous about the Lewiston residents. Then I thought maybe she was concerned for his safety on the weekend, and maybe looking out for her son regarding alcohol-related incidents.

It wasn’t until I was pulling out of the massive parking lot that I quietly realized that this woman of color might have asked me because she was concerned for her son’s safety as a young, strong Black man. I remembered conversations I had this summer with my best friend from high school, telling me that her mom sat her and her brother down for a series of serious lectures about cop compliance. My friend told me how worried her mom is for her brother’s safety, as a young Black man. As a Division I student athlete, with a full college scholarship to play football, my friend’s mother worried about his safety, because she knew of his strength.

I didn’t realize that this worried woman in front of me could have been referring to her son’s safety as a result of his blackness. In no way did it occur to me, as an incoming first year, that my peers’ safety could be in serious danger because of their racial or ethnic identity. That this young Bates student’s mother, needs to worry about the safety, psychological and physical, within the space of Bates, and within the space of the greater Lewiston community.

That we, as Bates students, might not be working as hard as we should to foster spaces of safety and belonging. That I, as a white Bates student, might not be recognizing the danger a community I consider of as a safety net poses to others. When I walk into commons, when I walk around the quad, I am in a safety net often referred to as “The Bates Bubble.” I am in a safety net of middle class whiteness in which a lot of problems I know to exist in the “real world” slip away.

But that’s not always true. Certain “anomalies” I identify with and cling to are not anomalies in the Bates community. Certain oppressors on my status as a person are lighter amid the “Bates Bubble.” And because of this I catch myself tripping into thoughts that claim this must be true for every oppressed group of people.

But it’s not. The oppression of people of color is not just released within the Bates community. The Bates mask does not shield our black men from harm. The Bates mask does not absorb the systemic violence enacted on black bodies in our country. And we are not exempt from being held responsible.

With the school year just beginning, I implore you to stand up for one another. I implore you to demand safety for others, and to uphold the Bates Community to a higher standard of acceptance and safety.

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